Date of Award

2007

Level of Access

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

French

Advisor

Catherine Bauschatz

Second Committee Member

Sandra Berkowitz

Third Committee Member

Kristina Passman

Abstract

During the first half of the seventeenth century in Paris, France, Madame de Rambouillet (1588-1665) made a remarkable contribution to the very essence of French civilization known as art de vivre [art of living]. She accomplished this in her home, the Hotel de Rambouillet and especially from her Chambre bleue [Blue Room] at the very heart of the private sphere. Here, for over fifty years, she held assemblies [assemblies] or gatherings that were later referred to as salons which featured the oral living arts of conversation and sociability which inspired the creation of many social, cultural, architectural and literary innovations. In this dissertation the broad scope and high value of her innovative contribution is presented and evaluated in the light of the twenty-first century, as communication by machine overshadows living face to face conversation and sociability. Her inestimable contribution to French culture deserves full recognition to inspire its much needed revival.

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